A Shift in Perspective

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Everyone has a different experience with trichotillomania, and everyone has a different pathway to recovery. Some people do well by training themselves out of behavior patterns, while others require a new perspective. One person, who struggles with trich asked the question, “How would you feel if you were made to pull out someone else’s hair?”

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The following are some excerpts from Latent Expressions by Incognito.


“Think about it rationally. How would you feel if you were made to pull out someone else’s hair? Would you like it? Would you feel pleasure in that? Imagine someone close to you. Your loved one – partner, spouse, parent, child – anyone who is close to you. Can you pull out their hair to feel better? You cannot.”

“…you cannot pull out someone else’s hair. Because you know it will be painful for them. Also, you won’t feel that pleasure that you feel when you pull out your hair. That’s precisely the problem then, I guess. I feel pleasure in something that I should feel pain in.” 

“Normal people feel pain when they pull out their hair, that’s why they don’t! Even I cannot pull out a bunch of hair at once. That would be enormously painful. When I pull out my hair, the actual feeling should be pain.” 

“The pain is the normal reaction that would happen if my brain did not mislead me with wrong information. Instead of keeping "hair pulling" and "skin picking" in the "PAIN" box in my brain, my brain decided it should go into "PLEASURE" box. Maybe, it felt that the PLEASURE box wasn’t filled enough. So, my brain thought why not put some things from the PAIN box into the PLEASURE box – after all, the source was my own body. I could control it, I could do whatever I wanted to and then feel the pleasure whenever and wherever I wanted to. My silly brain thought it could fool me into thinking that the pleasure was real.” 

“Last night was a revelation. I have not pulled out a single hair since then.”

 “I don’t know about tomorrow. I don’t know if this will continue or not. I don’t know if my brain will again be able to mislead me with the pretend pleasure. I want to find real pleasures and put them in the PLEASURE box. Hair pulling and skin picking – like it does for all normal people – will go into the PAIN box. Maybe, initially, I will have to do this deliberately. Until my brain finds peace with it. It is not pleasure, after all, it is pain.”


For the full blog post, go to Latent Expressions by Incognito.

Incognito presents a unique perspective that is working for them, and one of the benefits of sharing what works is that perhaps this perspective will help someone else.  

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